The prices in the grocery store keep rising, especially for protein. Like most people in the country, we try to keep our grocery budget within budget despite inflation. However, we still want to eat healthy meals and rely on something other than carbs to fill us up. So instead, we use these ways to combat high meat prices.
But First, a Clarification
We are not vegetarians and have no desire to be. We like carbs, but we don’t eat a carb-heavy diet. Instead, we try to eat a well-rounded diet, including plenty of vegetables and fruit.
Our Favorite Ways to Combat High Meat Prices
Here are the strategies we use to save when buying protein.
Buy Direct from the Farmer
For years, my husband and I bought a ¼ side of beef direct from the farmer. We’d get a lot of ground beef and cuts like chuck roast, T-bone steak, and stew meat. We didn’t buy the latter items at the grocery store because they were too pricey for our budget. However, buying directly from the farmer saved us money so that we could enjoy the more expensive cuts of meat.
Buy Clearance Meat at the Grocery Store
I love to buy meat from the clearance rack for other types of meat. For instance, a week after Easter this year, our local grocery store had eight-ounce packages of diced ham on sale for .49 cents! I bought five of them and used them in soups and omelets over the next few months. We also frequently find sausage on clearance. My husband cooks those up on the weekend, slices them, and packs a few for his lunch. Typically, he’ll eat about ¾ of a sausage with his lunch.
Use Meat as a Condiment or Meal Component
We almost always use meat as a condiment or meal component. For instance, we’ll add about three ounces of meat to our spaghetti, which makes four servings. Or, we’ll make soup with one-half pound of meat in it. Likewise, stir-fries are a great way to eat a lot of vegetables with a small amount of meat.
If we make steak, we’ll serve the four of us a portion of the steak so that a 10-ounce steak will feed all four of us. We’ll have ample vegetables on the side.
Add in Some Starch to Stretch the Meal
One other idea is to add some starch to stretch the meal. For instance, I like beef stew as is, but my husband and kids always add a bit of rice to it. They enjoy the flavor, and it helps to stretch the meal further.
While we are all struggling to maintain our grocery budgets now, know that this time of high inflation will recede. However, we always combat high meat prices with these strategies. We prefer to eat this way, regardless of what the economy and grocery store prices are doing.
Melissa is a writer and virtual assistant. She earned her Master’s from Southern Illinois University, and her Bachelor’s in English from the University of Michigan. When she’s not working, you can find her homeschooling her kids, reading a good book, or cooking. She resides in New York, where she loves the natural beauty of the area.